Impact of Advertisement and Publicity campaigns
Consumers are driven by the brand Apple while making a purchase decision. The dominance of Apple in the portable digital music player market has been attributed to the aggressive marketing strategy adopted by the company. The Apple I-pod advertisement and publicity campaigns for the product have clearly made it one of the most visible products. But more than these campaigns the word of mouth recommendations continues to influence sales. An Apple I-pod user feels a sense of pride in the ownership and tends to showcase the product amongst his friends thus creating a need to buy and own the same.
This is the most significant aspect of consumer behavior that influences buyer decision and it is also the cheapest and most effective form of advertising. The negative effect of Apple’s popularity is also evident when one segment of consumers is annoyed with Apple’s massive advertising campaigns. The consumers in this segment will not buy the Apple I-pod since the majority seems to own it. They look for uniqueness while purchasing and they don’t want to be just another I-pod owner.
Matured consumers will go for purchase only after extensive research on the product. They get involved in the products, brands, and options available in the market before the actual purchase. Majority of these consumers look for information on the Internet. The abundance of information available on the net and its convenience has made the Internet a valuable source of information. Everything a consumer wants to know about a product is available on the net – the price range, product range, features, user opinions, market trend, and analysis.
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Hence it is a media to be reckoned with. More advertising and publicity campaigns on this medium will register in consumer minds. Brand Awareness and product pricing Consumers of almost all ages have shown preference to the I-pods. The new era sees the consumers switching from the conventional CDs to digital music and portable videos. The Apple’s brand awareness campaigns have registered in the consumer minds when they make the purchase decision. Consumers are not at all hesitant in paying the price for the ipod since they trust the brand.
But not all consumers feel the same way – a segment of consumers will also refrain from making the purchase of the Apple I-pod. The reason being they do not want to pay so much to own the I-pod. They feel it is overpriced. Impact of Product Utility on consumer minds Product utility features also play a major role in triggering purchase decisions. Overall the Apple I-pod has been received very well with the consumers – the 70 million sales over the last few years bear testimony to this fact. But reported shortcomings can have a negative impact on the Apple Ipod video market image.
The ipod allows the users to store and watch movies – but the size of the screen does not appeal the consumers much. Other competitive brands offer wider screen that makes movie watching a pleasing and satisfying experience. They also support a wider array of video formats with additional features like video recording, built in WiFi. What we need to understand is that when the consumer is willing to pay such a high price for the Apple I-pod video their expectations from the product and the company naturally is high too.
They expect their I-pod to be the best and long lasting with all the advanced features and more. Moreover, the consumer is easily bored and is continually looking for more features. Conclusion and Recommendation A study of the consumer mannerisms reflect strongly that Apple has so far been highly successful in registering their image in the minds of the masses. But what we need to assess further is our strategy to uphold this image for a long time in future. We need to focus on the following areas to strengthen our market segment:
Incorporating some additional features into the product will boost the market image to a great extent as consumers’ need for utility in terms of price is fulfilled. Portable gadgets capable of accessing Internet, storing music albums, files, images, and videos along with phone and video recording facilities – all packed in one becomes a necessity of the day and registers well in consumer minds. Apple also needs to relook into its strategy for itunes – we have been selling about 3 million songs in a day through itunes.
Bringing down the prices of these itunes will further increase the sales through this channel. Another aspect that Apple needs to look into is the screen of the ipods – a bigger and better screen quality will enhance its utility. When consumers download videos they expect to enjoy the same in terms of quality. Apple video ipod should be well equipped in this technical aspect to boost its sales and image in the market. Apple has adopted an aggressive marketing strategy and should continue to do so as it enables consumer retention and visualization of the apple product.
More publicity on the Internet and articles projecting the edge of the Apple ipod video over other options available in the market will surely register a positive image in the consumer minds. The brand awareness and positioning in the consumers minds is Apple’s strength that should be cashed in to generate more sales. At the end of the day it is the quality of the product and its reliability that satisfies the consumer most and boosts the word of mouth recommendation of his purchase to other prospective buyers.
The willingness of a sizeable segment of consumers to spend more on the latest gadgets and changing consumer attitudes – the search for something new and unique will always guide the companies to adopt new strategies.
J. Paul Peter and Olson (2004), Consumer Behavior (Mcgraw-Hill/Irwin Series in Marketing) www. Apple. com www. consumerpsychologist. com Internet articles on I-pods from www. bbc. co. uk www. ilounge. com www. ipodnews. com